PAS Releases PlantState Suite v8.4

March 20, 2018

PAS PlantState Suite™ (PSS) version 8.4 incorporates over 40 customer-requested improvements. PSS is comprised of several optional modules encompassing alarm management, control loop performance monitoring, boundary management, and independent protection layer monitoring. The main improvements are in the following areas:

Alarm Management

  • Improved Alarm Rationalization Fields in the Master Alarm Database: In a DCS, a given DCS tag can have several alarms associated with it. Each specific alarm has several alarm-related fields of concern in a rationalization; e.g., alarm setpoint and priority. Other parameters applying to the overall tag are also useful to check and document in rationalization. These parameters, such as tag-level deadbands and suppression, affect proper design and function of the alarm system. PSS 8.4 makes it simple to document their proper values, and to verify/modify in the PSS audit/enforce and state-based alarming modules.


  • Override Control Loop Assessment: Most control loops are designed to maintain a process measurement at a specific setpoint. Another type of loop is one that acts only to keep a process measurement above or below a specific threshold (e.g. minimum flow or level, pressure make-up). The performance tests and analyses for such loops are different, and ControlWizard has added new methods to ensure accurate assessments.

  • Controller Modes Current at a Specified Time: This new ControlWizard analysis reads all controller modes in effect at a specific time, identifying those that are not in automatic or their otherwise “normal” mode. Combined with other ControlWizard reports, the accuracy of loop performance reports is increased.


  • Enhanced Excursion Analysis: inBound reports the details of excursions – events in which specified boundary limits are exceeded. PSS 8.4 adds more details about each excursion, and a new capability now reports “standing” excursions – those in effect at the time of the report.

PSS General

  • Documentation Improvements: PSS 8.4 online help now includes improved full-text search and other technical enhancements. The documentation is also reorganized to make information easier to find. Guidance information for the PSS Dashboard has been expanded.

  • Easier PSS User Administration: Windows Active Directory user and group accounts can be used for determining access permissions within PSS

  • Improved speed and product responsiveness.

For a complete listing with more details of each improvement, see the PSS 8.4 Release Guide.